Finishing just at the wire, I am happy to report a Summer Book Bingo cover-all!
Let's take a look at my last two Bingo columns, shall we?
First, Column 2, going down:
With an Animal on the Cover or in the Title - I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I know this book is hugely popular, but I just gotta say it: tedious, predictable, far too tidy. (There are much, much better novels set in France in WWII -- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr or Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky, to name a couple.) 3 stars.
With a Mythological Creature on the Cover - Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yeah. "Magic" = mythological. (My book bingo; my rules.) Just what I needed right now. 4 stars.
Recommended in a BOTNS Episode - Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. (This also happened to be my book group's selection for our June meeting.) Excellent story; worth reading. 4 stars.
About Art or an Artist - This square? The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith. Interesting and enjoyable. 4 stars.
Has a Place Name in the Title - Chicago by Brian Doyle. I just loved this book! A bit autobiographical, with lovely storytelling twists here and there -- and, of course, Edward. This might be my favorite read of the summer. 5 stars.
And, last but not least, Column 5, going down:
By an Author Who Endorsed the Last Book You Loved - Okay. That square's "directive" was just WAY too much for me. Really? I'm going to have to pick the last book I loved. And then I'm going to figure out who endorsed that book. Are you kidding me? This is where Book Bingo meets Not Worth My Time. So I read Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmen. Because I wanted to. (And it was endorsed by Barack Obama. And that's good enough for me.) 4 stars.
With a Red Cover - When I picked this book, it had a red cover. But by the time I actually read the book? Not a red cover. Publishing is fickle. For this square, I read The Improbability of Love by Hannah Mary Rothschild -- a finalist for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction. After slogging through the Most Lame Prologue Ever (seriously; I almost gave up right there), this book really picked up steam. It ended up being the only book I read this summer that I absolutely Could. Not. Put. Down. Not perfect, but very enjoyable. (Besides, I was completely taken by the notion of a painting as one of the characters.) 4 stars.
An Audiobook - I listened to several audiobooks this summer, but the one I'm counting for this square? Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliott -- on the longlist for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction. I really enjoyed this rather unique book -- and especially the second half. So keep reading. (That's where things get really interesting.) 4 stars.
Reread a Favorite Book - Back in 1979, when Tom and I were first dating, we both read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins. We loved that stupid book -- so much so that we named our first cat after one of the main characters, Bonanza Jellybean (Jelly, for short; the first of the J-pets). I decided to read it again this summer. Uh. Well. Life has moved forward; this book, however, has not. I found it terribly dated and stuck in the mid-1970s. 3 stars. (Mostly out of nostalgia.)
That You Loved as a Child - I read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Oh, my goodness! The sexism in this book shocked me. But, still. I loved it. 4 stars.
And. There you have it!
Have a great weekend -- and happy reading.